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What to do about Adult servers?

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Comments

  • thryllkillthryllkill Member Posts: 10
    Musaab said:

    Maybe do something like the original Leisure Suit Larry and ask questions only someone born before the turn of the century would know to verify their age :)

    That would work back in LSL days, but anyone signing up for a game these days knows about Google too, I'm sure.

    Grymlorde
  • hda_nwnhda_nwn Member Posts: 27
    I would suggest the following:

    Set flags in servervault so we can check if our server is meant for adults.
    Make an optional client for those customers who buy the game and want to have parental control.
    This protected client just filter out the servers with adult flag on mp. Also other content released by beamdog or even the community with this flag.

    Now its up to the parents to get the right client for their children.

    How to handle? When you purchase the game there would be an option to check parental control (unchecked by default). It will install the game with the parental control nwmain.exe. And if this account wants the vanilla (and unprotected client) customer must send to beamdog whatever id or info beamdog thinks is needed. Then unlock the vanilla client for download.

    So beamdog offers the chance to customers to use parental control. Also sets an easy way for the community to flag their content.

    My opinion on the thread:
    Neither beamdog or nwn customers have to educate children. That's for parents and school teachers (who can be nwn users but thats on their free time). Just offer the chance to parental control and the warnings required

  • PlasmaJohnPlasmaJohn Member Posts: 26
    Ancarion said:

    It might be good to keep in mind that the idea of adult content generally goes beyond the predominantly American meaning of nudity and sexuality, and includes such things as extreme violence and depravity. Torture, slavery, anything not suitable for children. So that leads to the question of what Beamdog considers "adult" content. Would a hellish world of demonic torture, or a quest to murder a village of innocents also qualify?

    I like the idea of a self selected rating with an additional explanatory freeform textbox so that the server admin can add what the rating is about. The ESRB's content descriptors are a good basis and should be encouraged but not limited.

    If there's any official enforcement then it should be limited to selecting an appropriate rating.

  • xordacxordac Member Posts: 7
    I think part of having an initial good experience would be having everything presented, the same way it has always been since the beginning of nwn1. If the development team has limited resources as we keep hearing when talking about other issues I don't see how this one would make it to the top of the priority list. I am more concerned about nwn:ee having as much functionality and freedom as old nwn1 has always had. That is just my opinion, it will be up to beamdog to deliver whatever product they want with nwn:ee. As I see it nwn:ee is good if you only care to re-experience the single player campaign with some graphics enhancements. Only time will tell if it will be a suitable replacement for the current nwn1 servers.

  • EdhelEdhel Member Posts: 6

    While I understand the "online content may change" covers our butt from a litigation side, as a parent I would lose my mind if my kid was playing the game and looked at servers and there were a bunch of adult servers appearing in the browser. I'd like a means to allow people to enjoy adult content without flooding the normal game browsing with listings for that content. I like the concept of opting in for adult content. That said, I raised the point so we can have an open discussion about it.


    Simple. The same way you stop kids from visiting websites they shouldn't be visiting. Parental supervision. A family pc for a kid should be in an open place where adults can see what's going on. Not just for this game, but everything online related. Other than that I don't think much else should be done. It should be up to the admins of each server, and ultimately the parents. More so as a lot of these PG-13 servers do have erotic roleplay happening on them also. A lot behind closed doors and very hush hush.

    PokotaProont
  • TheBarbarianTheBarbarian Member Posts: 58
    Without meaning to diminish the role parents ought to play in this, in practice, I've been getting the impression that rather few children have parents that are both capable of and interested in benevolently supervising/protecting/guiding them, and it's especially the children that don't have anyone looking out for them that are most susceptible to the promise of the "care" and attention they're not getting in real life. One may note that a sense of responsibility isn't exactly a natural prerequisite for either getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant.

    We may not be able to do much for kids in that kind of living situation here, but I wouldn't condemn a token effort in the direction, anyway, certainly not if it doesn't majorly inconvenience anybody.

    ProontZwerkules
  • SymphonySymphony Member, Developer Posts: 116
    Google and Bing both have flags setting in their search settings that default to not displaying adult content. These services can be and are used by everyone all day.

    One must go into the settings to find the filter, turn it off, and agree they are over 18 years of age. This is something that anyone can do, certainly someone underage, but this small simple step cuts out a lot of unnecessary exposure.

    With a lengthened list of options in our .ini documents, I don't think it would be out of place to ship the game with something like a default of:

    nwnplayer.ini ( 0 = Hide )
    ...
    [Game Listing]
    Filter Multiplayer Servers=1 // 1 enables the following filters
    PasswordRequired=1
    AdultContent=0
    HakIncluded=1
    LocalVault=1
    ServerVault=1
    HighPing=1 // 0 hides servers above listed max
    MaxPing=500
    EmptyServer=1
    FullServer=1
    ShowOnlySpecified=0
    ShowModule=1 // Adds following modules from final list (If they were removed by filters)
    Module000=
    Module001=
    Module002=
    Module003=
    Module004=
    HideModule=1 // Subtracts following modules from final list
    Module000=
    Module001=
    Module002=
    Module003=
    Module004=

    This would allow people with .ini knowhow, either parental figures, or otherwise to not only know that this document must be changed, but also use it to block out or make safe lists for servers.

    themazingness
  • IndyWendieGoIndyWendieGo Member Posts: 62
    So a few things I can think of, but first I want to get something out of the way.

    I think that it should also be something that the parent also investigates as well, being that they need to know what they're child is doing. Filters help, but parents should keep in mind that they don't always stop a kid from accessing adult content. They're clever and crafty. Underestimating that as a parent isn't a good idea.

    That being said, filters and ini tweaks like Symphony suggested I think would be good ideas. Simply banning the servers from being listed~ while is doable, it's the fact that these people bought the game as well and should have access to the features promised to them in the stream. Adult servers wouldn't be policed off, even if they're not our cup of tea. Instead, save banning list visibility to the servers that artificially inflate their numbers.

    Symphonythemazingness
  • themazingnessthemazingness Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 673
    I agree Beamdog shouldn't need to police it. And I also think you can't do anything about simulated sex on a case by case basis. That said, it would be amazing if adult servers could choose to flag their server that way and players had a one-time prompt (that can be changed in an .INI file) that asks if they want the servers list to include adult-dedicated content. That way those who want the PG-13 experience will get it.

    Proont
  • themazingnessthemazingness Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 673
    I'd also like to add, it'd be cool if whatever is implemented can be modded easily in case users want to tweak the server filter to their liking.

    Proont
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    I like the idea of an opt-in tag system in general, for more than just adult content. Make it a feature to better discover the content users are looking for.

    My concern with trying too hard to address the idea of "mature" content is that it likely addresses only those who want to play ball. You can google for the kinds of content on youtube these days that is designed to pass kiddie filters deliberately to introduce inappropriate themes to pre-teens and the like. The more you have a system that appears reliable externally, the more it may be trusted, and the more vulnerable you become to such shenanigans.

    IndyWendieGoProont
  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,806

    Edit: And, yes, I am specifically mentioning Sinfar to target them. They're known for faking their server numbers, and they're not even sorry about it. You should outright ban them from your Beamdog listing.

    Wow, I didn't know that. Adult content or not, spoofing your servers' player count is a pretty shitty thing to do.

    semiticgodMalclaverapsam2003Proont
  • ShirleIlliosShirleIllios Member Posts: 1
    Symphony said:

    This would allow people with .ini knowhow, either parental figures, or otherwise to not only know that this document must be changed, but also use it to block out or make safe lists for servers.

    Just remember that most kids are more tech-savvy than their parents. Obfuscation isn't really a solution in my opinion. Not that I'm against an ini-setting, but I would have it in the options menu as well. Otherwise you might get adult servers flooded with kids while the adults are still trying to figure out how to enable display of filename extension in Windows so that they can see which file is the ini-file they need to edit. ;)


    Anyway, having hosted a 'social' server for a few years, as well as having encountered this issue in various other places over the years, I'd like to share my thoughts.

    I think that, from the viewpoint of those enjoying adult servers and modules, the ideal would be full adult verification. This is not just for the protection of the children, but also for the protection of those enjoying adult content. After all, it is preferable to enjoy mature content safe in the knowledge that the person you're enjoying it with isn't secretly a child.

    I think that this would probably take the form of one's online account needing to be flagged as adult-verified before adult servers and modules can be accessed. Of course the main question there is how. This could be as simple as an age gate or, a bit more secure, a credit card check. I've even seen cases of people needing to send in a photocopy of their passport, but I doubt Beamdog has the resources to go that route.

    Failing that simple is probably better. Though I wouldn't quite go the 'nothing' route that some have suggested, I probably wouldn't do much more than letting servers and modules flag themselves and having users indicate whether they're adult and/or want to see adult content included.

    Of course none of this is full-proof, but then nothing will be. There's always a chance that something mature goes on even on servers that are listed as child-friendly. That;s, unfortunately, the nature of the online world. Beamdog could, of course, threaten to impose sanctions against servers violating their self-selected age rating, which could go some way towards encouraging servers to self-police. But in the end you will never be able to fully protect everyone.

    In the end I think that, whatever solution (or lack thereof) is chose things will probably stabilize well enough. Adult players will probably congregate on adult servers, which will likely do their best to fend off children. On either side things might slip through now and then, adult encounters on non-adult servers and non-adult players on adult servers, but overall I believe it'll all work out. :)


    Love -x-x-x-

    Shir'le

    semiticgodProontMordaedil
  • MavrixioMavrixio Member Posts: 14
    edited December 2017

    The issue is, we have absolute smut like Sinfar. (Go on their forum sometime, but don't say I didn't warn you to NEVER do it as work!) An entire server where the whole community is solely interested in erotic roleplay? Ok, weird. But that's not the actual issue.
    The actual issue is, they're faking their numbers on Beamdog's Server Listing. Sinfar did this before, on http://www.nwnlist.com/ . You'll notice they're STILL delisted from NWList Scry...
    Edit: And, yes, I am specifically mentioning Sinfar to target them. They're known for faking their server numbers, and they're not even sorry about it. You should outright ban them from your Beamdog listing.

    We regularly get that kind of comment so I am use to it... Obviously made up your opinion from the same sources.

    For the numbers... just go check by yourself, its easy: log on the server, the first area require no hak, you can use 1.69 or 1.74 and check the player list, talk to people/characters in it.
    There's actually more people that you can talk to than the number that you see in the servers list because this number is only the number of characters in game, on this specific server. We also have a web clients and allow players to communicate between servers as if they were on the same sever.

    As for nwnlist well we sent them an email one year ago and they never responded. They were obviously misleaded and dont support their list.

    Post edited by Mavrixio on
  • LevedaraLevedara Member Posts: 5
    edited December 2017

    In general, I see nothing wrong with mature servers. Most of the community is adults, anyway. That said, MOST servers warn you if they have mature content, in some fashion. There's nothing wrong with erotic roleplay. I'm not into it, but it's whatever. Use an opt-in tag with a filter list.


    The issue is, we have absolute smut like Sinfar. (Go on their forum sometime, but don't say I didn't warn you to NEVER do it as work!) An entire server where the whole community is solely interested in erotic roleplay? Ok, weird. But that's not the actual issue.
    The actual issue is, they're faking their numbers on Beamdog's Server Listing. Sinfar did this before, on http://www.nwnlist.com/ . You'll notice they're STILL delisted from NWList Scry...
    Edit: And, yes, I am specifically mentioning Sinfar to target them. They're known for faking their server numbers, and they're not even sorry about it. You should outright ban them from your Beamdog listing.

    I'm sorry that you've had an experience that has caused you to take such a hostile stance about Sinfar.

    As a player and DM on the server that actively runs and participates in RP Plotlines involving engaging stories, I can assure you that real roleplay does exist on the server, and that a great many of us are indeed, real people, with real interest in playing our characters to tell stories.

    A portion of our community is indeed, however, there for ERP, and we do not condemn them for it. The server is generally a sandbox as a social server, and people are free to take their RP in whichever direction they please within the rules. Typically groups will form and stay together to support interests, sticking together, while some players will move between them. From slums gritty back ally politics, adventures and dungeon running, to social interests, we welcome all sorts of RP.

    Unfortunately in the past our webclient caused a bloating of our player list, which was not an attempt to "fake numbers" but a side effect of an integrated tool that allows our players to communicate cross server, and from out of game to in game via our webclient. The webclient is no longer included in our player counts, which should now reflect accurately as far as my knowledge goes. What may cause a bloating of our counts however is that we do allow multiboxing, which allows players and builders to mini-dm NPCs in the storylines they are RPing.

    Some websites will not accurately reflect player counts for any server, due to caching - however the gamespy list will be accurate.

    I hope that helps clarify some of your concerns!


    Ultimately that isn't what this topic is about.

    Adult servers being able to self police, as they always have under bioware, is an excellent adherence to the standard we have come to expect.

    I fully endorse the flagging, or adult filters, or parental control options that are being discussed, and I would really encourage server admins to really look at the RP on their servers and consider honestly what they are representing.

    Many pg-13 servers I've played on have had rather mature or adult: murder, torture, brutal violence, substance abuse from alcohol to drugs, kidnappings, even off screen rape used as a story device, presented as content for RP stories, I don't think I've played on any server where there hasn't been romance that has lead into intimacies, perhaps "fade to black" means it doesn't count?

    Pokota
  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited December 2017
    Levedara said:

    Some websites will not accurately reflect player counts for any server, due to caching - however the gamespy list will be accurate.

    The Gamespy list have been defunct since February 2013. There's a reason that NWList Scry states, even today:

    The following servers were delisted due to abuse: Sinfar (NWN), The Turmish Lands (NWN). In future, please report accurate player counts.

    _____
    Levedara said:

    Unfortunately in the past our webclient caused a bloating of our player list, which was not an attempt to "fake numbers" but a side effect of an integrated tool that allows our players to communicate cross server, and from out of game to in game via our webclient. The webclient is no longer included in our player counts, which should now reflect accurately as far as my knowledge goes.

    Clearly your something isn't fixed still. Because you're spoofing again on the Beamdog list. When you've done this multiple times, the whole "well, that was in the past" schtick rings hollow.
    Levedara said:

    What may cause a bloating of our counts however is that we do allow multiboxing, which allows players and builders to mini-dm NPCs in the storylines they are RPing.

    Yeah, just going to highlight this...
    Multiboxing is fine. But faking numbers is not.

    MavrixioIndyWendieGoProontzunath
  • HarkathHarkath Member Posts: 6
    Back in the day Gamespy had categories- roleplay, action, social- etc, with social being 'adult' servers. Why not bring that back?

    Kate_oriley2
  • VonDimentiaVonDimentia Member Posts: 13
    edited December 2017
    I think moderators should watch out for our younger users. I'm 25 now, but I started playing NWN at 11. I'm sorry if I violated an age restriction there, at the time. I mean, it's up to the parents to monitor as well. I was playing GTA at that age. Murdering the hookers and such in that game. So NWN was tame. Just giving a perspective from a child who played for a few years in the RP servers. The mods, in my favorite server, had my back when they found out I was a 13 year old. They stuck up for me when they found out a 19 year old was trying to put the moves on me. There's just some things that are bound to happen. I'm not sure how to prevent this, except by monitoring through chat. And I agree with all the checks and questions before joining certain servers.

    semiticgodricoyung
  • JFKJFK Member Posts: 209
    I think I see Trent's position, and I empathize and agree with him:

    It's not about legal butt-covering, but about actually trying to keep the kids from being exposed to adult content.

    How about a passcode a parent can set, that will only allow servers they've approved to show on the lists? That way, it remains up to the parent to monitor what their kid sees, but they have a tool/method for doing so. A kid can tell mom or dad they want to try this or that server, and the parent can say, 'let me check it out', and go to the website or otherwise check it out. They can then choose to add that server to the list or not.

    Turning things around, server admins could flag their server as 'kid safe' or whatever, and have their server automatically show up. If it turns out they host adult content, they'd have their kid safe status removed. It seems like it'd be a rare thing for a server to pretend they weren't adult-oriented when they were, so the issue would likely never occur anyhow.
    The difference here is that it'd be up to the servers to police themselves. If they want to be listed as kid safe, they need to make sure they don't host adult content or allow (as well as they can) adult situations. No outside force would be responsible.

    I suppose the first step would be to define the elements considered 'adult':

    I think mostly we are talking about nudity and sexual acts, but I'm not sure that's entirely the case.

    Thoughts on what constitutes the adult content we're discussing?

    -JFK

  • WalnutboyWalnutboy Member Posts: 3
    As a parent myself i understand what you are getting at Trent, but as a parent i also have to say it isn't your responsibility to parent other peoples children, just as it was never Biowares. You ask pointedly in the threads subject what to do about the adult servers... well leave them be. They were never a problem before so why make them one now as most do a pretty good job policing themselves and their content as it is. Having a flag so you can filter out the servers you don't like sounds pretty good and as others have said the different rooms on the original Gamespy listing worked in pretty much the same way at the time.

    If you start 'banning' certain content then where does it stop? I can say with some certainty that someone, somewhere will find something offensive and argue it has little to no place being in a PG-13 game. Adult is very subjective, yes sex and sexual portrayals are 'adult' but what about servers that allow Underdark themed slavery, medieval style torture rp or a world that lets a wizard walk into a crowded bar and burn it down... NPCs and all?

    Most servers not just, Sinfar or the ERP ones, have rules which govern THEIR play because they are run by 'adults' and played on by people who are likely parents themselves!

    ricoyung
  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 871
    Hi Trent, my advice would be that you don't just judge a book by it's cover, the main difference is that some servers list themselves as 18+ in their server name and some don't. Some would say that an adult server is like a porn factory but it is much more like a city nightlife district which also happens to cater only to adults. The highly praised RockPaperShotgun article "A Naïf In Neverwinter Nights" by Steven Messner paints a very different picture to some of the negative misconceptions. They are humans, good citizens, that put consent above all else, and like yourself some of them are parents that don't want their kids on their adult only server either. Most responsible role play servers also list themselves as 18+ and ban both minors and depictions of minors for reasons I'm about to touch on.

    Like VonDimentia I was a minor when I started playing NWN and I played on servers that said they were role playing, light rp, or heavy rp. Many of them also had a policy of calling themselves PG13. Of course these servers did have both players and DM staff that engaged in often very graphic and explicitly adult content on a semi-regular basis. The main difference was that some servers made it clear they were 18+ only and some tried to cultivate a perception that they weren't.

    As I grew up I started to understand this hypocrisy more clearly. On a non-adult RP server someone could use threats to your character that you have been playing for years, or coercion often called favoritism on servers to encourage complicity. On an adult server a player has the right to say NO to everything without fear of retaliation or consequences, in terms of resources every PC is it's own nation and there is no concept of economy for coercive behavior. They both had adult and sexual content but their approaches to it were different.

    As a parent you should be informed that a server which has an MPAA or ESRB rating does not actually have that rating, they have not been rated and they cannot guarantee that your children will never see inappropriate content. Like others have said you cannot guarantee the experience on servers with so many strangers online. Five minutes on google reveals to me several archived pages of a discussion with thousands of replies about scandals and drama on most of the contemporary NWN servers in recent years. For me this is enough to realize that nothing has changed from how it was 10 years ago, things happen and some people do their best marketing spin to pretend it doesn't.

    My advice that I motivate in the preceding paragraphs is (1) to place the entire private server list behind an 18+ warning. (2) Educate and monitor your children when it comes to online activities with strangers. Add a new multiplayer menu button that directly connects to (3) an official Beamdog hosted world (mini-mmo) where you can actually hire moderator staff to keep it kid friendly.

  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,636

    (3) an official Beamdog hosted world (mini-mmo) where you can actually hire moderator staff to keep it kid friendly.

    This seems rather unfeasible to me...

    BradgeFlashburn
  • DorcusDorcus Member Posts: 251

    Asking for birth dates is the standard way of dealing with this for websites that actually want to discourage minors from visiting certain forms of content. It's easy, convenient, and about as reliable as you can realistically get.

    heh, you wouldn't believe the lengths I went to to browse budweiser.com when I was under 21 >:)

    tbone1Pokota
  • NelaKNelaK Member Posts: 7
    Just a quick comment - I think a tag system would be much preferable to the categories system that NWN had before. The reason is simple:

    If we look at the content on Sinfar and the content in something like The Witcher 3, I would call them both 'Adult' experiences but for very different reasons. Sinfar is an adult experience because of its sexual content whereas the Witcher is an adult experience for its story elements (yes sex is also present there but I suspect the game would still be rated M even if the sex scenes were taken out).

    With a tag system we could flag something like Sinfar as "Adult, Social" and Witcher 3 as "Adult, Story, Action/Adventure".

    Its just a more flexible approach that allows people to filter servers to their preferences and it would have benefits beyond just filtering in/out adult servers.

    I would like to be able to filter to Action/RP-Lite just as much as Action/RP-Enforced or even Social/RP-Enforced/PG-13.

    ZwerkulesIndyWendieGo
  • NeverwinterWightsNeverwinterWights Member Posts: 246
    Musaab said:

    Maybe do something like the original Leisure Suit Larry and ask questions only someone born before the turn of the century would know to verify their age :)

    Didn't stop me from playing when I was 12. lol.

    superfly2000Pokota
  • TarotRedhandTarotRedhand Member Posts: 982
    I've no idea how effective it is but in the European Union (since 2015) it is actually illegal to sell age restricted (look for Pan European Game Information aka PEGI) games to those under the age specified. From what I can see it appears that this only applies to those games that are sold on some form of physical medium though.

    TR

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